Driver License Disaster Response Unit
Since Hurricane Katrina, the Driver License Division has provided special services to Texas residents impacted by a disaster. In 2011, a formal Disaster Response Unit (DRU) was created, and enables Driver License employees to travel to any location in the state to provide Driver License (DL) or Identification Card (ID) replacement for those who lost their identity documents due to a disaster.
To obtain a replacement, the person must already have a Texas DL or ID card on file, and it cannot be expired more than two years. The DRU staff will confirm the person’s identity against the existing DL or ID card photo and issue a temporary license to be used until the new card can be mailed. An application for an original card can also be processed if the person has all the required documents. The list of required documents can be viewed here. Transactions for disaster victims will be processed free of charge for a limited period of time following the disaster.
The DRU is normally deployed at an established Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), or any other location specified by the local emergency manager, provided there is adequate internet access. The DRU provides services during hours when a local driver license office may be unavailable and to improve convenience for disaster victims. DRUs typically remain until the services are no longer needed or until the MARC is closed. The DRU services are available as part of the Texas All Hazard Plan, and requests for these services should be made to the Disaster District Committee Chair, who coordinates with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Driver License Division for assistance.
During the past several years, the DRUs have been deployed to assist the citizens impacted by the Bastrop fires, the West fertilizer plant explosion, flooding on two separate occasions in both Hays and Travis counties, and most recently by the Dallas-area tornadoes. The Driver License Division is committed to serving the citizens of Texas and to helping during a time of need.